Shine

Shine

4.4 102
by Lauren Myracle
     
 

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  When her best guy friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover who in her small town did it. Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery mines the secrets of a tightly knit Southern community and examines the strength of will it takes to go against everyone you know in the name of justice.

Against a backdrop of… See more details below

Overview

  When her best guy friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover who in her small town did it. Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery mines the secrets of a tightly knit Southern community and examines the strength of will it takes to go against everyone you know in the name of justice.

Against a backdrop of poverty, clannishness, drugs, and intolerance, Myracle has crafted a harrowing coming-of-age tale couched in a deeply intelligent mystery. Smart, fearless, and compassionate, this is an unforgettable work from a beloved author.

Praise for Shine
“Cat eventually uncovers the truth in a cliffhanging climax in which she confronts fear, discovers that love is stronger than hate and truly ‘shines.’ Raw, realistic and compelling.”
Kirkus Reviews

“The page-turning mystery and Cat’s inspiring trajectory of self-realization will draw readers in and give them plenty to ponder.”
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Dramatic in both content and presentation."
Los Angeles Times

“Myracle captures well the regret that many feel for things in their past about which they are ashamed. Cat’s reflections on these moments are spot-on.”
School Library Journal

AWARD:
WINNER: Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award for young adult fiction
YALSA 2014 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults


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Editorial Reviews

Mary Quattlebaum
Having been raised in the rural South, I confess to chucking aside many a book larded with stereotypical miscreants and sugared with "honey, chile" blandishments. But praise be, author Lauren Myracle moves beyond Old Dixie cliches to deliver her finest novel yet, a sensitive portrayal of a contemporary small town bound to silence by old secrets and loyalties.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Cat has been distant from childhood best friend Patrick for three years (she began to "ignore the whole world" after an older friend of her brother's molested her). Even so, when a horrific and possible hate crime leaves openly gay Patrick comatose, she decides to "look straight into the ugliness and find out who hurt him." She grows suspicious of her brother's friends, "the redneck posse," who were with Patrick the night of his attack—especially as she learns they are keeping dangerous secrets, including dealing and using meth. Myracle (Bliss) paints the desperate poverty and bitter divisions within Cat's mountain community well, with memorable details like a friend coloring the duct tape patches on her couch to match the fabric or a meth cooker's bathtub filled with funnels and coffee filters. These details and the thick mystery that Cat unfurls will keep readers engaged—and suspecting several characters, as Cat does. The final faceoff strains believability and the conclusion is a tad neat, but readers will find themselves thinking about Cat's complicated rural community long after the mystery has been solved. Ages 14–up. (May)
VOYA - Marlyn Beebe
Everyone in Black Creek has always known that Patrick is gay, and although he was teased by his peers, he was always protected from abuse by outsiders. So when Patrick is found outside the convenience store where he worked, unconscious, bruised, and bloody, tied to the gas pump with the nozzle stuck into his throat and secured with duct tape, it is assumed that some partying boys from a nearby college attacked him when he refused to sell them alcohol. Although sixteen-year-old Cat and Patrick were once very close, she drifted away from most of her friends shortly after she started high school. After the attack on Patrick, she begins to feel guilty: if she had remained close to him, they would have been together, and he would not have been injured. Cat decides that the only way to make amends is to find out who hurt him, so she quietly starts her own investigation, knowing that his friends will not be eager to talk, and that she might be putting herself in danger. Cat discovers who the attacker was, and in the process, finds her way back to the person she once was. This is a difficult book to read even though the violence is more implied than explicit. Give this to mature readers. Reviewer: Marlyn Beebe
Barbara Ward
While her former best friend Patrick lies in a coma, Cat investigates the hate crime that put him there, since local law enforcement officials seem reluctant to do so. Then, too, she feels guilt for having become withdrawn for years from everyone around her, including Patrick. Convinced that someone in their small town of Black Creek, North Carolina, is responsible for leaving Patrick brutally beaten with a gas nozzle taped to his mouth, she visits Patrick's local haunts and interviews their mutual friends. During the investigation, Cat unearths secrets about her friends and the production, distribution, and use of meth that permeates their lives. Unrelentingly, she pursues the investigation to its surprising conclusion, discovering truths about herself and conjuring her own strength along the way. As she descends into the seamy underbelly of the place she calls home, she realizes that she must let her own light shine if she ever plans to help others. Reviewer: Barbara Ward
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—Cat, 16, has isolated herself over the past three years, retreating from her friends and life after being violated by a boy she knew. But after a gay-bashing incident involving her former best friend at the local convenience store where he works leaves him in a coma, she is determined to enter the world again and investigate the crime to make up for all the years she abandoned him. The sheriff suspects his attackers are most likely out-of-towners angry with Patrick because he refused to sell them alcohol. Cat assumes the perpetrators are closer to home since the "redneck posse" that Patrick hung around with never fully accepted him and must know something since they partied with him earlier in the night. In a week's time, Cat pays visits to her old friends and slowly learns about the hidden relationships in the meth-addled underbelly of her hill-country Southern town. Most of the teens in this novel have either dropped out of high school, come from broken families, or been abused. It's a bleak story leavened a little by the things Cat learns about herself in the course of her investigation. Myracle captures well the regret that many feel for things in their past about which they are ashamed. Cat's reflections on these moments are spot-on.—Shawna Sherman, Hayward Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews

When her gay best friend is brutally beaten in contemporary Black Creek, N.C., a withdrawn teen tracks his assailant. Different from other kids in their ignorant, poverty-stricken, backwoods community, 16-year-old Cat and 17-year-old Patrick have been "kindred spirits" since childhood. Growing up with a drunken father, a well-meaning aunt and an older brother she no longer trusts, Cat was "full of light and life" until one of her brother's "gay-bashing redneck" friends "messed" with her. For three years, Cat has blinded herself to everyone, including Patrick, convinced her "entire existence meant nothing." But when Patrick's beaten and left for dead at the convenience store where he works, a gasoline nozzle protruding from his mouth, an angry, guilt-ridden Cat knows she must open her eyes and "look straight into the ugliness and find out who hurt him." Cat describes her relentless, determined investigation in the first person, proceeding day by day over a period of two and a half weeks, allowing readers to gradually absorb the complex, twisted relationships, shocking evidence, disturbing memories and gritty atmosphere. Motivated to solve the horrific hate crime, Cat eventually uncovers the truth in a cliffhanging climax in which she confronts fear, discovers that love is stronger than hate and truly "shines." Raw, realistic and compelling. (Fiction. 14 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781613121450
Publisher:
Amulet Books
Publication date:
05/01/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
177,464
File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

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